Spring 2022 - HIST 320 D100

European Reformation (4)

Class Number: 4635

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5048, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Strongly recommended: HIST 220 or 223.



An advanced examination of the complex history and patterns of the Religious Reformation in sixteenth century Europe. Emphasis will be placed on the religious thought of the period, and on its social and political context.


The European Reformation brought about profound religious changes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What effect did these changes have on European culture and society? To answer this question we shall begin with a close analysis of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s magisterial synthesis of Reformation history.  In our study of this history in the first part of the course, we shall consider two large questions:

(1) Does it make sense to think of several Reformations, or should historians view the Reformation as a coherent movement with a common agenda? (2) Is the term “Counter-Reformation” an appropriate way of labeling Catholicism in the Reformation era?  In the second part of the course, we shall consider the various ways in which historians have responded to a central question in Reformation scholarship over the past thirty years: (3) Was the Reformation a success or a failure?


The lectures, tutorials, and course requirements of History 320 will help you achieve the educational goals of undergraduate courses in the Department of History.  In particular, by the end of the course you will be able

  • to identify and explain the principal historical developments of the European Reformation
  • to address large historical questions about the Reformation
  • to assess arguments about the success and failure of the European Reformation through an analysis of relevant secondary sources


  • Participation 15%
  • Three Tests (3 x 10%) 30%
  • First Essay (1500 words) 25%
  • Second Essay (2000 words) 30%


You may take Hist. 320 together with Hist. 288 (The History of Christianity until 1500) in the spring semester of 2022.



  • Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History (2005) for purchase from Amazon.ca in hardcopy or as a Kindle Edition under the title Reformation: Europe’s House Divided, 1490-1700. You may also borrow free of charge a digitized copy at the Internet Archive for one hour (renewable) or for thirteen days (renewable) if you have Adobe Digital Editions, an app that you can download for free onto your devices. Please note that delivery of the hard copy will take several weeks. The SFU Bookstore was not able to obtain any copies, new or used.
  • Andrew Pettegree, Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion (2005) available for free download from the SFU library
  • Scholarly journal articles available for free electronic download.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.